There is a new generation of optical fiber ribbon cables. These designs use versatile ribbons to boost fiber density with a factor of several. Like a bit of good factor, this improvement comes with trade-offs. In this post, we explain these trade-offs to assist you understand whether this new technologies is a fit for you personally.

Conventional optical fiber ribbons (or flat ribbons) have long been utilized for higher SZ stranding line. Ribbonized fibers are easier to manage in large numbers than loose fibers. Flat ribbons can also be mass combination spliced, which depends on 6 occasions faster than solitary fiber splicing.

Flat ribbons waste space inside a buffer pipe, and will focus stresses on fibers at the corner of the ribbon pile.

Shape 1. Flat ribbons squander space in a buffer pipe, and can concentrate pressures on fibers at a corner of the ribbon stack.

But, flat ribbons have a fundamental shortcoming. When cabled, a stack of flat ribbons is like a “square peg in a round opening.” (See Figure 1.) Barrier tubes are generally circular, which suggests the space highlighted in yellowish is wasted. When external aspects deliver the stack in contact with the pipe wall, in addition, it concentrates pressures around the fibers in the corners from the stack.

Flexible ribbons resolve these issues by striking a compromise. The dwelling that binds the person fibers with each other is created looser, so a flexible ribbon can change shape without breaking apart. But, it should nevertheless hold with each other well enough to get handled efficiently during mass combination splicing. Shape 2 shows an adaptable ribbon (top) as well as a flat ribbon (base). Observe how the color sequence of individual fibers is taken care of inside the flexible ribbon without the fibers becoming sure firmly in place by way of a heavy coating of matrix material.

In contrast to flat ribbons (bottom), versatile ribbons (top) use a loose structure. This framework fits into circular pipes more efficiently.

Figure 2. In contrast to flat ribbons (base), flexible ribbons (top) possess a loose structure. This framework fits into round tubes more efficiently.

Flexible ribbons comply with the space they are in – no longer square pegs in circular openings. When flexible ribbons are pushed up against the within a buffer tube, pressure is distributed over numerous fibers – not just the ones at the corners of a pile. This allows more fiber to be placed to the exact same space. Figure 3 shows an 864-count flat ribbon cable television (left) together with a 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable television (right). The pipes in the left cable television contain 144 fibers in flat ribbons. The pipes on the right include 288 fibers in flexible ribbons. Each wires contain standard 250-micron fibers and will easily fit in a 1-1/4” duct. Yet, despite having two times the Secondary coating line, the 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable is slightly smaller than the 864-count with flat ribbons.

A 1,728-count versatile ribbon cable television (right) is smaller than a flat ribbon cable (left) with fifty percent the fiber count.

Figure 3. A 1,728-count versatile ribbon cable (right) is smaller than a flat ribbon cable (left) with fifty percent the fiber count.

Could It Be a Fit to suit your needs?

Versatile ribbon cables were initially developed for Hyper Scale Information Centers (HSDCs). Most folks think of a 1,728-fiber cable television as size XXL. But, it is an entrance-degree fiber count in numerous HSDCs, in which it’s present with have many such cables entering every developing. These wires typically interconnect buildings without branching, tapering, or mid-span accessibility of the kind. These 2 factors push HSDC cable designers to prioritize higher-fiber density more than anything else. If you’re not developing an HSDC, your priorities may differ. So, let’s examine 7 distinctions among flexible and flat ribbon cables that may effect conventional OSP applications.

Distinction #1 Ribbon Versatility

Flat ribbons will flex on only one plane. Because they’re also twisted (to equalize stresses), this can get them to more complicated to arrange in splice trays. Versatile ribbons don’t have this restriction, and act nearly like free fibers. This makes them much easier to arrange in splice trays.

Distinction #2 Splicing Speed

Mass splicing of flexible ribbon remains considerably faster than person fiber splicing. But, you ought to expect some loss of speed compared to flat ribbons. Simply because flexible ribbons are definitely more loosely bound together, they need more treatment when becoming positioned in splicing owners. A flat ribbon can be placed into the groove of the holder. The identical method can bring about misaligned fibers for any flexible ribbon. Specialists usually “wipe” the fibers of a versatile ribbon with a thumb and directory finger to bring the fibers into their proper position.

Distinction #3 Splicing Tools

Flexible ribbons may communicate with your current splicing resources differently than flat ribbons. Any issues are usually resolved having a bit of exercise or newer tools. Think about screening some bare ribbon examples before scheduling a time-delicate installation.

Check your existing ribbon owners to find out if they fulfill your anticipations when splicing versatile ribbons. Some combination splicer producers provide owners enhanced for splicing flexible ribbons. They may save time or even be necessary to avoid fiber slippage throughout heat stripping.

Some legacy heat strippers are certainly not hot sufficient to cleanly strip a flexible ribbon in one successfully pass. Some suppliers have launched new models with higher heat settings to address this problem.

Distinction #4 Price

Versatile ribbons are a new technology. There is less a lot production capability, and yarn binder creation is less efficient than conventional flat ribbons. The potential risk of creation scrap also increases with higher fiber matters. So, there is a cost high quality related to flexible ribbons – especially in the highest fiber counts.

Distinction #5 Fiber Size

Most cablers are using 200-micron fibers for counts of three,456 and previously mentioned. You can find splicers for 200-micron ribbons, but they are fairly new. If you want to splice onto a legacy cable with 250-micron fibers, you’ll require a work-about to accomplish it. Fortunately, most flexible ribbon wires with matters of 1,728 or less will include regular 250-micron fiber.

Distinction #6 Cable Dealing with

Switching to versatile ribbons may impact your selection of cable structures. Cables with strength members embedded in their overcoats will bend only in one plane, and they are more challenging to coil. They can additionally be tougher to start.1 Check vfiskb your cabler to view what choices are readily available.

Distinction #7 Barrier Pipes

Cable television Outside Size (OD) can be decreased through the elimination of barrier pipes. However, buffer tubes save time and streamline fiber management when prepping wires for splice closures. Buffer tubes provide additional fiber cut protection when opening up the cable television jacket.

Overview

Flexible ribbon cables offer remarkable enhancements in fiber denseness that permit a lot more than two times the fiber count inside the same duct space. If you want to take full advantage of fiber count within a duct, they may be your best choice. Nevertheless, some adaptation is necessary, and there may be time penalties throughout dealing with and splicing. The available cable buildings vary a great deal. So, you ought to explore your alternatives. For counts of 3,456 or higher, 200-micron fiber is common, which may require devoted splicing gear.

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